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The Ridge Retreat | A stylish charcoal kitchen in the secret gardens of Waiheke

Design Brief:
Tall cabinetry surrounding a low window looking to their garden with dark rustic features.

Interior Design by Shane George
Build by
Photography by John Williams

In one of Auckland’s favourite and least populous suburbs, sits this stunning Bach on Waiheke island.

Speaking to three-time award-winning Kitchen Designer of the Year, Shane George, this particular renovation was centered around large bench spaces and a visual connection to their prized garden and extensive greenery. The kitchen is connected to the dining room, and an outdoor internal courtyard, just down a few steps is the living room, and of course visually through the glass window to the garden.

This meant prioritising space to eat, cook and entertain, but to be designed with seamless accessibility, without compromising on the aesthetic. As with many renovations, functionality and aesthetic are a key balance that the client wanted to ensure for their work and when they are entertaining. Bespoke, in-built design was necessary and luckily something Shane knows well.

As always before starting have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve, both in function and aesthetically..to fold all 4 doors in one direction and was pivotal to the success of the benchtop cupboard, as it allows easy access to small appliances.

Shane George of Shane George Design
A charcoal stained wooden open plan kitchen with a black island bench that opens into the living room

Renovations can be tricky with existing structures and . There were two particular challenges requiring customised design finesse and building expertise. They were the structural steel post to support the roof and narrow hallway to the kitchen. Choosing the same dark colour and anchoring it in-line with the benchtop helps keep the seamless effect and making it less noticeable. The hallway required some extra effort, by stepping the cabinetry back to allow for more space in the hallway.

The Hettich Bi-folding door system is one of the most popular products in New Zealand. Shane has used Wing 77, spanning four doors for a clean, easy glide to quickly conceal appliances and glassware. Keeping to the brief, the kitchen is dark and rustic. The cabinetry is finished with an ebony stain and is a brushed rustic oak veneer that surrounds a leathered black granite countertop to really give impact to the space. A soft contrast can be found inside the cabinets with a light beech woodgrain finish.

dark kitchen with black cabinetry and island benchtop greenery in view


With thanks to Shane George for speaking with us and the opportunity to share this beautiful Waiheke retreat renovation with our readers.

Use it in your next home or project


Hettich Wing 77 Bi-Folding Doors